Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN — April 6, 2019
With their win last week over Duke, Michigan State Men’s Basketball team advanced to the Final 4. The trip to Minneapolis carries with it the hopes of Spartan faithful everywhere. Their opponent, Texas Tech, broke the hearts of Michigan Wolverine fans with a 63-44 drubbing of the Maize and Blue in the Sweet 16.
While there won’t be an MSU vs Michigan contest for the 4th time this year. The Green and White have the opportunity to extract some revenge from the Red Raiders on the tournament’s biggest stage.
MSU’s History in the Final 4
Michigan State is appearing in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final 4 for the 10th time and the 8th time under Tom Izzo. The Spartans have won the Championship twice. The last time in 2000 with Izzo and in 1979 when Jud Heathcote’s squad defeated the unbeaten Indiana State Sycamores and the great Larry Bird. MSU was the runner-up in 2009, losing to the North Carolina Tar Heels
In the 1st half, both teams shot 30% from the field. When you launch the shots and they don’t go in is it good defense or poor offense? In this case, every basket was contested hard on both ends of the floor. During a stretch late in the half MSU went over six minutes and Tech went five minutes without a bucket. Halftime score Texas Tech 23, MSU 21.
After the break Tech came out hot and MSU seemed flat. The Red Raiders built a 13 point lead midway through the 2nd half. But, the Spartans fought back and with just over two minutes to play they trailed by only one point. The rally took everything out of Izzo’s squad and Texas Tech put the final nails in the coffin with a 61-51 victory.
Tech will play Virginia in Monday’s final. The Auburn Tigers made their 1st Final 4 by defeating three college basketball dynasties. Kansas, North Carolina, and Kentucky. They held a 2 point lead over Virginia, the only #1 seed left in the tournament, with the clock winding down towards 0:00.
The Cavaliers Kyle Guy was fouled, with less than a second left on the clock. The somewhat controversial call came as Guy was shooting a three-pointer. He stepped to the foul line and sank all three free throws. Sinking Auburn’s upset juggernaut in the process.
Virginia vs Texas Tech, Monday night for the culmination of the “Big Dance.” Prediction? Virginia wins another close one, proving why they were worthy of a top seed.